Today is March 14, or 3.14, the day we celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π). Pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, is an irrational number, meaning that it can't be expressed as a simple fraction of two integers. It is also a transcendental number, which means it is not algebraic. The celebrated 3.14 is just the beginning of pi---it continues into infinity, and that may be one of the reasons people find it so fascinating. So in honor of Pi Day, here are some suggestions for how to celebrate:
1 ) Read about the long history of pi.
2 ) Memorize as many digits of pi as you can ( here's pi to a million digits). A Japanese man in 2005 memorized pi to 83,431 digits.
3 ) See how far you can calculate pi. Computer programmer Fabrice Bellard calculated pi to 2.7 trillion digits using his home computer.
4 ) Watch the movie Pi, a 1998 thriller about a paranoid mathematician.
5 ) Make a pi-themed pie (I went for chocolate peanut butter pie, but any flavor is appropriate).
6 ) Celebrate with music: Learn the song, " Pi, Pi, Mathematical Pi," set to the tune of "American Pie"; listen to the Pi Rap; or sing Pi Day carols.